Rock garden plants are those that are adapted to high alpine environments, mountainsides, canyons, steep river banks, or any conditions where soil is rocky and loose. Some examples of plants that thrive in rock garden conditions include Sedum, Cheilanthes, Agaves, Oregano, Phlox, Scutellaria, Hesperaloe, Yucca, and many more.
We are really proud of our own crevice garden made from upcycled materials here at Plant Delights/Juniper Level Botanic Garden in 2017 and have compiled a pictorial history that you can view here. We hope that it will inspire you to create your own!
Be sure to also read this excellent blog post about our crevice garden via the blog of landscape designer Kenton Seth, who helped design and install sections of the crevice garden. Also, be sure to watch our video showing our rock garden and berm garden here at Plant Delights.
More Information About Rock Garden Plants
What is a rock garden?
Rock Gardens are landscape features designed to mimic high-altitude alpine landscapes, mountain-sides, desert canyons, steep river banks or any other ecosystem where the ground is rocky and loose. In the wild, alpine and other rocky ecosystems tend to be windy, free-draining and harsh and thus are populated by drought-tolerant plants that survive by staying small. Rock gardens are an artistic simulation of these ecosystems and feature small hardy perennials growing among artfully arranged rock outcrops. The goal of a rock garden is to feature small attractive rock garden plants that might otherwise be overlooked or out-competed in another type of garden bed such as a perennial border.
What are the best rock garden plants?
Some rock gardeners feature alpine plants in their rock gardens while others focus on small desert succulents. Still others will put any small, tough plant that deserves special attention into a rock garden. Plants that naturally grow in cold mountainous regions (especially the Alps) are known as alpine plants and plants that naturally grow on rock outcrops or among loose rocks are known as saxatile plants or lithophytes. These rock garden plants are almost always hardy perennials like sedum, but beyond that they can be deciduous or evergreen; bulb or fibrous rooted; flowering, grass, fern or conifer; leafy or succulent; native or exotic; and sun- or shade-loving. As long as they are small and tough, they are appropriate. Although we are not exclusively a rock garden nursery, we have filtered through our enormous on-line plant catalog and selected the best hardy perennials for rock gardens.
Building a Rock Garden - Crevice Garden
We've established an impressive crevasse garden here at PDN. Here is a short video showing the early stages. If you would like to see the final results, be sure to visit us on one of our open house days throughout the year or schedule a visit.
Gardening Unplugged - Berm Gardening
In this video, PDN founder Tony Avent takes guests on a tour of our berm garden and discusses how you can build your own.